A lot has happened since we ended the spring semester.
After passing 150 pieces of legislation, the Missouri General Assembly concluded its regular session. The legislature passed a bill that replaces Missouri State’s statutory degree restrictions with a program approval framework that will give Missouri State more flexibility to offer professional doctorate degrees. As you know, we supported this bill.
The legislature also passed a bill that modifies the state’s tax increment financing (TIF) program. This change removes a significant barrier for financing the IDEA Commons project. We also supported this bill.
The legislature also passed an “omnibus” bill that includes multiple provisions related to higher education. The final version of the bill represents a compromise that benefits stakeholders at all levels throughout the state. Missouri State supported this bill.
- Language identical to the degree bill referenced above.
- Changes to the Higher Education Student Funding Act that establish different tuition caps in years when state funding decreases.
- Clarification that the state’s procurement protocols do not apply to public universities.
- A Civics Achievement Exam graduation requirement.
- A requirement that unaccredited institutions of higher education disclose their lack of accreditation to prospective students.
- A requirement that universities publish a report relating to mental health services on campus.
Governor Parson takes over
After the legislative session ended, Governor Greitens signed 77 of the bills passed by the legislature. The degree bill and the state TIF bill were among those he signed. The higher education “omnibus” bill has not yet been signed or vetoed.
After signing bills, Governor Greitens resigned and Governor Parson immediately assumed office.
I had a very positive meeting with Governor Parson on Thursday. We discussed the important work we do at Missouri State. I advocated that he evaluate the possibility for releasing withheld funds in fiscal year 2018, sign the budget for fiscal year 2019, fund the budgeted appropriations for Missouri State University, and sign the higher education “omnibus” bill. Governor Parson indicated his strong support for Missouri State University, and he offered to continue to work collaboratively with us moving forward.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!